Wam Bam Shazam…!
Cheesy? Childish?? Fun??? Shazam is a mashup that entertains those too young for Deadpool, kids at heart like BIG, all the feels of Power Rangers, and those that can look past DC traveling behind the 8 ball of Marvel in the cinematic universe. With the much-anticipated End Game coming out in a month’s time, Shazam actually times the market well to take its crack at stardom.
Adolescent fun and humor perpetuate the screenplay as 14-year-old Billy Batson (Asher Angel), a runaway Foster kid with an abusive past finds his destiny as the chosen one. The “Champion” (Djimon Hounsou) is weakening and he can no longer hold captive the 7 deadly sin monsters from the world. Ever increasing power in our supervillain Dr. Thaddeus Sivana (Mark Strong) is becoming too much for comfort and the powers of Shazam must be handed over to a new champion.
Looking deep into the culture of foster life as a kid, Billy obtains the power that many over decades could not. Standing firm against temptation and selfish desires, one must conquer the hunger for power to obtain the ultimate strength. In all the bumps and bruises of life, Billy finds favour and a change of luck in his misfortune.
One could say that Shazam (Zachary Levi) was way more immature than the younger version of himself, but I think the story that unravels reveals a hard-shelled kid that lets his true self out as he finds confidence and allows relationships to tear down the walls of protection he has mortared around him.
Comedy is a highlight of this film that avoids taking itself seriously. Shazam’s CV building abilities are perhaps the best part of self-discovery as seen in any superhero film. A novelty that will entertain and certainly provide a few laughs.
An honourable mention goes out to Jack Dylan Grazer that plays Freddy Freeman. Freddy is the friend that I always want to debrief me on the comic movies that I thoroughly enjoy. He is a walking encyclopedia of Super-Heroes that helps Billy discover his powers and destiny. Jack owns the part and develops a great fun nerdy guy that adds so much to the film as the unlikely sidekick.
Never mind the terrible special effects and the limited design, focus your attention on the character development and your intent to enjoy yourself for just over 2 hours and you will walk away looking for what is next in your day.
Rating: M Suitable for mature audiences 16 years and over. NOTE: Violence.